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Esper challenges Hines' mayoral petition

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:29 a.m.

A third candidate has turned up for the Democratic nomination for mayor in Homestead.

If incumbent Betty Esper has her way, Councilwoman Zaneta R. Hines may have a short-lived stay on the May 21 ballot.

Allegheny County election officials said Hines' petition was filed under Bridgeville rather than Homestead.

On Tuesday, Common Pleas Judge Joseph M. James allowed Esper to file a “non pro tunct” challenge of Hines.

“The petition in question was misfiled,” Esper said. “A timely challenge could not have been filed.”

James will hear Esper's objection on April 3 at 1:15 p.m.

Also running for mayor on May 21 is emergency medical technician Henry A. White. No Republicans are filed for any positions in Homestead.

James on Wednesday will hear objections to other petitions filed for the primary.

Three were scheduled on Tuesday. One was rendered moot when former state Rep. Shawn Flaherty withdrew his bid for Allegheny County Council in District 3 in the North Hills.

The other two dealt with Democratic and Republican objections to Kenneth Ray Lawson's candidacy for magisterial district judge in the Elizabeth Forward area.

James invalidated Lawson's Democratic bid but his Republican bid was upheld when attorney Matthew D. Racunas withdrew a challenge filed on behalf of Elizabeth Councilwoman Robin Miller.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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